Let me preface this entry by saying that one: I had never seen The Blair Witch Project before last night, and two: it is legitimately terrifying. So you can understand why after watching it at Liam’s, Casey and I decided to have ourselves a little slumber party.
After putting on a happy movie, we finally drifted off to sleep somewhere between the hazy, little hours of 3 and 4. Now, it’s not strange for me to wake up in the middle of the night (I tend to twist myself up in my sheets to a point that’s almost life-threatening ) but when I woke up at 7 am, I had a funny feeling. A minute later, a shrill, high-pitched ringing sounded somewhere outside. I sat up on my elbows, squinted through the muted light in my room and went over possibilities of the sound’s origin:
-We are being attacked by aliens, and this is the noise their ship makes.
-It’s the Blair Witch.
-I’m NOT dreaming…I’m awake and this ringing will be something I have to deal with for the rest of my life.
Then I snapped to and remembered what one of the Res Lifers had told me and Tracy a few weeks ago–that sometime before the end of the semester the Village would be conducting a full-scale fire drill where everyone had to evacuate their rooms and meet on the fringes of the establishment for a head count.
But something wasn’t adding up. I looked over at Casey. I don’t even think she was awake yet. How could this be a fire drill if it didn’t even wake someone up? I thought back to my past experiences with fire drills: back at Marist my first semester freshman year, when I was caught in the shower (I’m not joking) three times by the blaring sirens…all the countless nights I was woken up in Shango in New Paltz, narrowly escaping a ceizure from the flashing lights….checking to see if my ears were bleeding as I walked down hallways as sirens screeched above…
If this was a fire drill, how was it that I was still (somewhat) cozy in bed? The ringing was annoying yes, but not enough to make me get up. Casey seemed to be thinking the same thing. Then Tracy came in and joined the party, but was a little less blase about what was going on. She had a test in a few hours, and had only fallen asleep a little bit before. We all sat in my room and listened outside. We heard voices, but no one was knocking on our door. Still the ringing persisted. I put a pillow over my head.
“You know, if this was a fire, we could be dead right now,” Tracy said. I lifted my head up from my pillow and thought it over. She was right. The ringing was a pretty poor excuse for an alarm, and, depending on whether or not I’d gone to the pub or not the night before, I might not have even been woken up by it.
Eventually the ringing stopped, and Eva sent me a text message, echoing Tracy’s statements: “Some fire drill..you guys would be dead right now if that was real.” She also said a bunch of people were missing from the head count.
Later on it was revealed the res-lifers in mine and Tracy’s building forgot to knock on our doors and force us out, which is an understandable mistake. But the whole drill just seemed so much more (to use the same adjective I’ve been using to compare Australia and the US since I’ve got here) laid-back. It seemed like no one really cared whether we turned up to the head count or not.
I was really attracted to the whole “no worries!” attitude when I got here. But now that I’ve been living it for almost four months, the take it slow, take it easy, why the rush deal is actually wearing me out rather than calming me down, especially with school. I still get so aggravated at my classmates for being so careless about turning in assignments and/or going to class, and even more so with my teachers for letting it happen. It seems like no one is motivated to do much more than what’s required of them.
Sigh. Sometimes I wish I could take America and Australia and mash them together and make a hybrid country. Little bit of the GO GO GO of America and the chilllllll dude of Australia. I could name it Ameristralia. OR Austerica. (I kind of like the second one…possible title for my future Australian memoirs?)
In any case, in the next three weeks I’ve got two classes to attend, four papers to finish (err–write) and one test to take before I can fling myself into the open arms of New Zealand for a solid seven days. Then it’s over the Pacific and back into a life that’s getting a little less hazy with each passing day